A weekend in Sirmione

Summer is the perfect season to explore Sirmione in a weekend and to enjoy all the beauty that Lake Garda has to offer.

You can discover the historic town centre with its monuments, relax and have fun on the beaches, or discover the surroundings of the “Pearl of Garda” by travelling between towns and fascinating places of interest.

Here are some ideas that you can customise to make the most of your weekend in Sirmione.

 

How to get there and where to park in Sirmione

You can reach Sirmione by car by taking the motorway to the Sirmione tollbooth and then using the local road network to get to the town centre.

Monte Baldo car park is just outside the old town and it offers paid parking.  Alternatively you can park your car for free in the neighbourhoods at the base of the peninsular and reach the historic heart of the town by shuttle bus. From Colombare and Lugana you could also walk along the lakefront and enjoy the promenade and views.

More details on how to arrive and park in Sirmione can be found on the page “How to get there”

 

What to visit in Sirmione in two days

“I will be in Sirmione for two days, what can I visit?”

If you are asking yourself this question, you must know that there are many different ways to spend a weekend in the town known as the “Pearl of Lake Garda”.

Located at the southern end of Lake Garda, Sirmione has many places to relax, interesting cultural proposals and lively opportunities for sports and entertainment, and it is also located near many attractions.

Here is a small programme you can follow to enjoy a weekend in Sirmione.

 

The historic town centre of Sirmione

You could spend your first day in Sirmione exploring the old town centre and its many local monuments.

You could take a relaxing stroll through the town, in an atmosphere full of lake views and architectural beauty, from churches to numerous palaces of various ages and styles.

We suggest starting at the iconic Scaligero Castle at the entrance to Sirmione and working your way up to the Grottoes of Catullus and the adjacent museum on the tip of the peninsular.

Centro storico di Sirmione - Autore: Christian D'Emilio
Sirmione: old town centre – Ph: Christian D’Emilio

 

Scaligero Castle and the Grottoes of Catullus

Located at the entrance to the historic town centre, the Scaligero Castle of Sirmione was built after the mid-fourteenth century by the Della Scala family from Verona. Rising out of the waters of the lake, its marvellous interior and impressive harbour can be explored, as well as its corridors and courtyards that are shrouded in legend.

The castle can be visited by passing through the ticket office at the entrance, which is open seasonally. For more information visit the Scaligero Castle page

Castello di Sirmione al tramonto
Sirmione Castle at sunset

According to an ancient belief, the Grottoes of Catullus were the remains of a villa on Lake Garda owned by the family of Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54 BC). Although unfounded, this is why the archaeological site of an ancient villa on the tip of the Sirmione peninsular bears Catullus’ name.  It is possible to visit the remains of the villa and the adjoining museum dedicated to local history and Roman and early medieval artefacts from the area.

For further information about the opening days and visiting times of the Grottoes of Catullus and the Archaeological Museum of Sirmione visit the Grottoes of Catullus page.

grotte di catullo all'alba
Grottoes of Catullus at dawn – Ph. Lida Di Nola

 

An aperitif at sunset

After an enjoyable day visiting the sights and historical places of interest in Sirmione, why not treat yourself to a little rest and your favourite aperitif.

Take a relaxing motorboat trip at sunset, and make a toast under the Grottoes of Catullus or off the shore, or choose one of the many bars or restaurants in the historic town centre. You can enjoy the simple pleasures of your holiday with a delicious cocktail or a glass of the local Lugana wine, with a wonderful view of the lake or in the lively streets of the town.

Tramonto a Cisano sul Lago di Garda
Sunset in Sirmione – Ph. Casanova Luigi

 

Three ideas for your second day in Sirmione

What can you do on your second day in Sirmione to make it unforgettable?

You could relax at the thermal spa baths or on one of the many wonderful beaches on and around the peninsula, visit one of the nearby towns and attractions, or do something completely different.

Here are three different ideas to spend another wonderful day in the beauty of Lake Garda.

 

01. Total relaxation at the Sirmione spa baths or on the beach

terme di sirmione
Aquaria Thermal spa Baths

Unlike thermal baths for curative purposes, the Aquaria Thermal spa Baths are completely dedicated to the world of wellness: here you can spend a whole day among thermal pools, saunas and Turkish baths, to regenerate and relax or enjoy the treatments of your choice.

You can book and find information on the website termedisirmione.com

If, on the other hand, you don’t want to miss out on the lake and its beaches, we suggest two beaches that could be right for you: on Jamaica beach you can find incredibile views and enjoy the colours of Lake Garda, while at the Lido delle Bionde there are all kinds of equipment and services to experience the lake at its best.

 

02. Visit Peschiera or Desenzano

Desenzano
The old port of Desenzano

You could spend your second day visiting the two enchanting neighbouring towns of Peschiera and Desenzano.

Take a walk around the Venetian walls of Peschiera del Garda, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where you can rediscover the atmosphere of medieval and Napoleonic times and then visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino near the town.

In Desenzano you could visit the Roman villa, discover the fascinating exhibits of the Rambotti Museum, including the oldest plough in the world, and explore the castle, before relaxing in the old town centre in the lively atmosphere of the Porto Vecchio (old port).

 

03. An out of the ordinary trip

Feel like a child again at Gardaland, walk to the big bench at San Felice del Benaco, take a boat trip to Malcesine, or a cable car ride up Mount Baldo: if you want to experience something remarkable, you can set off from Sirmione on your own extraordinary adventure.

 

Gardaland

Gardaland is a theme park and it can be easily reached from Sirmione by taking the Gardesana road to Castelnuovo del Garda.

Oblivion, Raptor, Blue Tornado, Magic Mountain, Sea Life and Legoland are just some of the attractions you can try!

For information about prices, timetables, staying in nearby hotels, tickets and passes, we recommend you visit the official website: gardaland.it

Gardaland
Gardaland – Albero di Prezzemolo – Source: Pixabay Author: postcardtrip

 

Big bench

If you like the idea of big benches, from Sirmione you can explore the giant benches of Lake Garda and its surrounding area.

The big bench of San Felice del Benaco can be reached from Sirmione by going in the direction of Salò, on the internal roads and then by a short walk starting from the village of Portese. It is one of several big benches in the province of Brescia and in Lombardy and the first one to be built on the lake.

A giant bench has also been installed in Muscoline, among the vineyards overlooking the lake, painted pink like the Chiaretto wine produced from the grapes that surround it.

Big bench di Muscoline
Credits: La Guarda

 

Malcesine

What can you see in Malcesine?  There are many possibilities. You can leave Sirmione by car or travel by ferry boat to the old town of Malcesine, with its castle and wonderful town made up of narrow streets and picturesque squares.

You can take the cable car up Mount Baldo, or try new sports such as kite-surfing and sailing at the Fraglia Vela and paragliding, or relax on the beautiful Val di Sogno beach. You can find information on Malcesine’s local website.

castello di Malcesine
Malcesine Castle – Source: Wikimedia – Author: Pe-sa

 

Mount Baldo

Mount Baldo is a treasure trove of discoveries and enchanting places.

The foot of Mount Baldo can be reached by car or by boat, then take the cable car up the mountain from the town of Malcesine. From there you can venture along the numerous paths for excursions and trekking routes, until you reach impressive mountain lodges.

Mount Baldo also has surprising and incredible itineraries for mountain bike enthusiasts.

View of Lake Garda from Monte Baldo, Brenzone area. Source: Wikimedia – Author: Dguendel

 

To discover other enchanting places to visit during your stay in Sirmione, you can explore the suggestions on the appropriate page or follow the map below.

 

A weekend in Sirmione: the map

We have prepared the following map to help you find all the places of interest we have suggested and decide how to spend your weekend in Sirmione:

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